The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - FRONT PAGE - SALLY COATES

Ash Grunwald is liv­ing proof that no mat­ter how good you get at your craft, there’s al­ways room for im­prove­ment. The 41-year-old will close the Surf Pa­rade Stage at Blues on Broad­beach to­mor­row night, and if you no­tice him show­ing a lit­tle re­straint with his big band, it’s be­cause he’s re­cently learned a few neat tricks he’s ea­ger to show off.

“I’ve pretty much moved to Bali now and I’ve been spend­ing a lot of time prac­tis­ing,” he says.

“I haven’t just prac­tised for a long time and I’m re­ally get­ting into it – I got sick of not be­ing bet­ter.

“So I’ve just been play­ing and writ­ing with my new skills and hon­estly I’m hav­ing an ab­so­lute ball.

“So I’ll have to put a few rules in place when I play Blues on Broad­beach – like no 10-minute so­los.

“The other thing is I’ve got this mas­sive band, so it’s not just me up there. I’m go­ing to have to force my­self to play the songs.”

The most in­ter­est­ing part of the story is how Grunwald fi­nally learned th­ese skills he says he’d been strug­gling to mas­ter for 20 years.

With the Bali set­ting, the chance en­counter, the no doubt in­cred­i­ble sound­track and valu­able life les­son, it’s movie wor­thy in ev­ery way.

“Sonny, he’s a guy who teaches my daugh­ter pi­ano,” Grunwald ex­plains.

“I said ‘Do you know any­one who’s a re­ally good guitarist, I’m hav­ing trou­ble with a cou­ple of Hen­drix lines’. There’s a few things I wanted to learn for 20 years but never put in time.

“So Sonny said ‘I’ll work it out’ and I was like ‘yeah right, if I can’t work it out what makes you think you could’, and he did!

“He’s just a ge­nius shred­der on gui­tar.

“He taught me a les­son ... then he taught me a les­son.”

But at his core, whether he’s shred­ding Hen­drix style or chill­ing like Bob Dy­lan, Grunwald will al­ways be a blues mu­si­cian.

His love for the genre shines through as he speaks of his in­volve­ment in the week­end’s blues bo­nanza.

“Dance mu­sic is great to dance to, there’s noth­ing like it for when you want to dance,” he says.

“Blues mu­sic is a live genre, it’s all about the play­ing and the play­ers and it’s kind of a spec­ta­cle in a way.

“Even if you’re not a blues fan, if you see it live, you’ll get it and you’ll love it.

“If all the other genres fade away from live mu­sic I think blues will still be there for a long time.”

Catch Ash Grunwald 9pm to­mor­row at the Surf Pa­rade Stage. For all acts see blueson­broad­

Ash Grunwald will close the Surf Pa­rade Stage at Blues on Broad­beach to­mor­row night.

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